SAO PAULO, Apr 8 (Reuters) – Petrobras asked the Ministry of Mines and Energy to clarify President Jair Bolsonaro’s comments that a recent 39% increase in natural gas prices was “unacceptable” and that while it would not interfere with the company, its pricing policy could still be modified.

In a securities presentation, the state oil company said it asked the ministry for information that “should have been released to the market.” The portfolio has not yet responded, Petrobras said.

Investors rejected Bolsonaro’s latest words about the operation of Brazil’s largest company, sending its preferred and common shares down 1.7% and 1.9%, respectively, in early trading on Thursday. .

At 1240 local time (1540 GMT) they were among the worst performing components in the Bovespa index, which added 0.05%.

Bolsonaro’s comments on Wednesday helped wipe out gains in Petrobras common and preferred shares, which ended that session largely unchanged.

The controversy over fuel prices and Bolsonaro’s alleged interference began in February after the president removed then-Petrobras CEO Roberto Castello Branco and replaced him with a retired army general with no experience in the oil industry. and gas.

(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, Jamie McGeever and Paula Laier; Edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)

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